Hello all 2 of you who have watched and followed what I’ve been doing thus far as I prepared for my year of service in Tucson. Your support is much appreciated!
Moving into a house without the interwebs has made it kind of difficult to update my blog, but I’m currently sitting in Starbucks (because the local library doesn’t open until 10 and I was ready to go at 8:30) and will do my best to blend two series of thoughts together into one post. Wish me luck.
So Monday of this week was our travel day as we said goodbye to the Stony Point Conference Center (thank you for your hospitality Stony Point!) and began our individual journeys to our individual sites. I was fortunately by myself on my travels. No offense to anyone else at my site, but I love introspecting when I travel so I tend to be a not very good travel partner. My day began at 7:15 as I woke to prepare for a day of travel through Newark and out to Tucson. I left Stony Point at 8 AM with a group of eight others for a combination bus, train, and airport tram trip to the Newark airport. Myself and two others were the first to leave our group of eight at the C terminal (but not before I managed to break the suitcase of one of my fellow YAVs, sorry Annie!) Newark was busy! Fortunately I had checked in with United the night before so all I had to do was get my bags setup and into the United baggage system. My flight left at 12:30 and we got to the airport around 10:30. I figured I would have plenty of time to clear security, find my gate, and then relax with some food and potentially write out a blog post. I figured incorrectly. Security was a nightmare. It took FOREVER with too many people and too few security lanes open. Long story short, I didn’t have my relaxing morning in the airport. Not only was security an experience, but after finding my gate (and with only 20 minutes left before boarding) there was an announced gate change. The morning, which I had envisioned as a relatively relaxing one rapidly devolved into a stressful situation.
So I made it to the new gate (with a snack) and was fully prepared to keep myself to myself and wait out the last few minutes before it was time to board. However, Pokemon Go, a small child and his father, and a bright young man would change that. The bright young man had come to stand at the window next to me, but we didn’t have a reason to interact any more than the cursory male head nod that serves as what seems to be a universally acknowledged greeting in the US. Then entered the small child and his father who had come to look at the plane, the small child was asking about there being Pokemon on the plane (like children sometimes do, especially in the age of Pokemon Go). The bright young man next to me held out his phone to the child and talked of trying to catch Pokemon through the airport. Thus began an interaction that completely changed the course of my day. The bright young man, named Milan, was from the island of St. Lucia. He is an actor, student, and an extremely hard worker who was doing everything in his power to better his life and realize his dreams. I only had the chance to talk to him for a little bit before I had to board. But he changed my outlook on a day that had, to that point, failed to live up to its potential for me. Milan, if you’re reading this, thanks for sharing your story with me. Thanks for allowing me to walk alongside you for that brief period in Newark airport. Thank you for your honesty.
That Monday was the last transition into my new life for this year of service. the final two legs of a journey that began in January and has “ended” with me here in Tucson. We made it. We have a house. We have our community. I’m nervous as all get out, but I’m excited for what the year has to bring.
Thank you, Father God, for safe delivery to this place and the promise of new opportunities.